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05.19.08

Microsoft is SourceForge Awards’ Only Sponsor, Uses it to Spread FUD

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft at 8:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Embrace, subvert, and rubbish

Yesterday we wrote about Microsoft’s latest successful invasion into a free open source event. This happened in Romania. Moments ago we also shared you an unusual incidents from Romania Hungary. Steve Ballmer has just had eggs thrown at him during a talk. This is more disruptive than what happened in China during a speech by Bill Gates last year, though not quite as memorable as that pie in the face.

Is all of this justified? Of course we don’t endorse it. Can we sympathise? Well, have a look at this, will you?

The other day we shockingly wrote about some bizarre awards that are offered in this year's SourceForge.net awards contest. They inspire fear.

Among them you have:

  • [Project] Most Likely to Be Ambiguously Accused of Patent Violation
  • [Project] Most Likely to Get Users Sued

Now get a load of this. The only sponsor of SourceForge.net2008 Community Choice Awards is Microsoft. Yes, you heard that right.

The page states (in full, in case it gets modified later):

Sponsors

Diamond

Microsoft is a worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. Microsoft offers a wide range of innovative products and services designed to help individuals and organizations realize their full potential.

Through efforts like Port 25, Shared Source and Codeplex, Microsoft is focused on participating in a broad range of choices for developing and deploying software, including open source.

To learn more, please visit www.microsoft.com/opensource.

Getting Started:
If you are an interested in starting an open source project, Microsoft provides a number of programs and initiatives to help you achieve your goals. This includes lightweight, freely downloadable programming environments, such as Microsoft Visual Studio Express.

No other companies are even listed as sponsors. See for yourself at http://sourceforge.net/community/cca08-sponsors

When we talk about Microsoft attempting a hijack, can skeptics finally see what we’re warning about?

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

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19 Comments

  1. Victor Soliz said,

    May 19, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Gravatar

    Actually Roy.

    http://sourceforge.net/community/cca08-categories

    Looks like the sponsors are category related, for example CodeGear sponsors “most likely to change the world” while Microsoft sponsors “Best project for educators”.

    The bizare categories seems to have a rather ironic tone. Microsoft does not sponsor them.

    Most Likely to Be Ambiguously Accused of Patent Violation

    As an innovator these days, it’s important to do something revolutionary – but not so revolutionary that someone else speculatively patented it fifteen years ago. The winners of this project are so forward-looking with their technical vision that they’re sure to get pounced on by patent trolls from the early nineties for implementing an idea they saw on Star Trek in the sixties.
    Most Likely to Get Users Sued

    These are dark and dangerous times for hackers and users alike! The winner of this award is a project that provides freedom to those who use it – more freedom, in fact, than “the man” approves of.


    Either way, I find it very disgusting SourceForge allows Microsoft to sponsor this, it is also dangerous as Microsoft may try to take the sponsorship as a chance to make educative software migrate to windows. I wish for once Microsoft would just keep off my open source instead of trying to kidnap it…

  2. Victor Soliz said,

    May 19, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, it looks like it is not the only sponsor http://sourceforge.net/community/cca08-categories (a link that btw seems accidentally missing from your post)

    However it is the only sponsor named in that page, not to mention that page is an embarrassment for the people that got projects hosted at sourceforge, it is openly promoting visual studion express as a great platform for open source development, that it is a bunch of proprietary software that can only run in win32 and compile to .net/win32 seems totally overlooked.

    Regarding the categories, those in question are not sponsored by Microsoft, sound rather ironic instead of FUDish:

    Most Likely to Be Ambiguously Accused of Patent Violation

    As an innovator these days, it’s important to do something revolutionary – but not so revolutionary that someone else speculatively patented it fifteen years ago. The winners of this project are so forward-looking with their technical vision that they’re sure to get pounced on by patent trolls from the early nineties for implementing an idea they saw on Star Trek in the sixties.
    Most Likely to Get Users Sued

    These are dark and dangerous times for hackers and users alike! The winner of this award is a project that provides freedom to those who use it – more freedom, in fact, than “the man” approves of.

    I’d say something new on the site is boycotting me and some people that did not give javascript rights, it looks like if you do not enable javascript for boycottnovell.com you are now unable to post, I had a much better and detailed post, but it wasn’t submitted because of that issue, hope this one actually gets submitted…

  3. Victor Soliz said,

    May 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, it looks like it is not the only sponsor http://sourceforge.net/community/cca08-categories (a link that btw seems accidentally missing from your post)

    However it is the only sponsor named in that page, not to mention that page is an embarrassment for the people that got projects hosted at sourceforge, it is openly promoting visual studion express as a great platform for open source development, that it is a bunch of proprietary software that can only run in win32 and compile to .net/win32 seems totally overlooked.

    Regarding the categories, those in question are not sponsored by Microsoft, sound rather ironic instead of FUDish:

    Most Likely to Be Ambiguously Accused of Patent Violation

    As an innovator these days, it’s important to do something revolutionary – but not so revolutionary that someone else speculatively patented it fifteen years ago. The winners of this project are so forward-looking with their technical vision that they’re sure to get pounced on by patent trolls from the early nineties for implementing an idea they saw on Star Trek in the sixties.
    Most Likely to Get Users Sued

    These are dark and dangerous times for hackers and users alike! The winner of this award is a project that provides freedom to those who use it – more freedom, in fact, than “the man” approves of.

    I’d say something new on the site is boycotting me and some people that did not give javascript rights, it looks like if you do not enable javascript for boycottnovell.com (and fsdaily?) you are now unable to post, I had a much better and detailed post, but it wasn’t submitted because of that issue, hope this one actually gets submitted…

    Hey, if this and the other comments were submitted, sorry. Feel free to delete the duplicated ones.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 20, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Gravatar

    I’ve just unleashed comments out of the moderation queue. It’s possible that some JS validation test is used to check that the comments do not come from a bot (we receive more and more spam comments as time goes by).

    Considering the fact that Microsoft has its ‘own’ SourceForge (with exclusion of ‘nasty’ things like the Gee P L), the page cited seems like somewhat of an insult. Is Microsoft trying to just dominate everything, keeping both sides of the toast buttered, so to speak? Where would developers go? Google, which excludes AGPL as a matter of principle?

    I’ve always been a tad suspicious of SourceForge.net after the honeymoon days (I happen to have a project in SourceForge.net) because they used to be airing anti-Linux adverts from Microsoft. I stopped reading Slashdot when I saw them endlessly pushing Microsoft’s agenda with the attempts to buy love from FOSS people. We covered this before with examples, including tag tweaking, abuse of moderation, reception of Microsoft propaganda figures like Jeff Gould, etc. Say what you will, but my faith in SourceForge.net continues to decline.

  5. bean said,

    May 20, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Gravatar

    “my faith in SourceForge.net continues to decline.”

    Microsoft is continuing to do what it always has done, like a wasp laying eggs in a worm to hatch inside, they poach through money, employee plants, and so on. How many Microsoft plants are inside major software companies and FOSS related organizations? You can best believe they have moles everywhere, it’s common practice for any cut throat corportation, and in the United States of Advertising, the Microsoft Mafia gets a free fucking ride.

    If Microsoft can’t buy you out, force you out, discredit or smear you until you roll over, they’ll think of something. After all, most of the so-called leaders in the USA are paid off from the drug companies and other corporations, do you expect them to treat Microsoft any different? It’s all about money in the USA, and the whole system is corrupt.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 20, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Gravatar

    E-mails I’ve received suggest that it might be a public stunt (staged). I can anonymise and share them if you wish.

  7. Microbe said,

    May 20, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, please do share those emails.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 20, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Gravatar

    Oh, drat. I posted this comment in the wrong thread. I was referring to the egg-throwing incident.

    Well, as for sharing them, I just have. I’ve anonymised them though. They come from people you possibly know.

  9. Victor Soliz said,

    May 20, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Gravatar

    well, that’s embarassing, it is odd though since if I remember correctly the site used to still show your new comment even if it was moderated, it was odd that it was not giving me any signal.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 20, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Gravatar

    it depends on whether it enters moderation (WordPress level) or marked as spam (remotely, by Akismet). It’s still a pretty effective system overall because it traps like 98% of the spam, which you probably never get to see.

  11. Dan O'Brian said,

    May 20, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Gravatar

    Either way, I find it very disgusting SourceForge allows Microsoft to sponsor this

    Why? Money is money no matter who it comes from. Microsoft sponsoring prizes for Free Software projects is a benefit to those projects.

    it is also dangerous as Microsoft may try to take the sponsorship as a chance to make educative software migrate to windows.

    They can’t force the developers of the projects to do anything they don’t want to do.

    I wish for once Microsoft would just keep off my open source instead of trying to kidnap it…

    Er… huh? Do you even realize how irrational you sound?

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 20, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Gravatar

    That, Dan, is perhaps the difference between you and many of the readers here. Have fun with .NET. Be happily enslaved to Microsoft’s proprietary stack and help the company continue to generate revenue while stealing, lying, bullying, evading tax and bribing.

  13. Nikolas Koswinkle said,

    May 20, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy, don’t take refuge in slander. Accusing your opponents of being the slaves of the Big Evil and attacking great, opensource projects of taking the money from where they can get it doesn’t change the fact that you ARE NOT contributing in ANY WAY to FLOSS but are UNDERMINING FLOSS by attacking our own!

    My opinion? Get lost.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  14. Miles said,

    May 20, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Gravatar

    What’s the difference between the majority of the readers and Dan, Roy?

    The suggestion that they are so full of hatred of MS that they are unwilling to accept that anything good can come out of Microsoft?

    If they’ve made up their minds that Microsoft are evil and nothing they can do can be seen as good, then what does that say about the readers? It means precisely what Dan suggested, that they are irrational.

    To Victor; perhaps you can offer your own finances to fund those projects instead? Or perhaps you can try to get your business to do so. Or perhaps you can start a fund raiser.

    If those funds don’t come from Microsoft, then they have to come from somewhere else.

  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 20, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Gravatar

    The suggestion that they are so full of hatred of MS that they are unwilling to accept that anything good can come out of Microsoft?

    If you think Microsoft no longer wants to destory the GPL and destroy (or subvert) GNU/Linux, think again.

    See:

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q2.07/878F362F-2BF5-4C86-84E7-9C976F7BDDD4.html

    FOSS Reevaluates Microsoft with .Net and Mono.

    As the stalwart champion of closed, proprietary software, Microsoft has long accumulated a reputation as a planet inhospitable to any form of FOSS life forms. However, recent rumblings of change have suggested that a new world of interoperability is afoot, and that Microsoft may actually take the lead in launching new open standards.

    One example is .Net, a general marketing name that includes new development frameworks that aspire to replace Windows’ former Win32 platform with a modern new platform formerly referred to as Longhorn’s WinFX, and now called Windows Vista and the .Net Framework 3.0.

    Conceptually, this new framework has a lot in common with Apple’s Cocoa frameworks in Mac OS X. The main difference is that while Apple has made no effort to offer an open specification for third party implementations of Cocoa (the way NeXT earlier opened up its predecessor under the name OpenStep), Microsoft has submitted portions of .Net technologies to the ECMA standards body.

    Back in 2000, Microsoft’s release of .Net’s C# language and its Common Language Infrastructure captured the attention of Miguel de Icaza, a FOSS developer behind the Linux GNOME environment.

    De Icaza started Mono, an open source project to implement Microsoft’s .Net development platform for Linux. His company, Ximian, also worked to create an open source alternative to Microsoft’s Exchange Server, called Ximian Evolution.

    Ximian was bought up by Novell, which continues to support the development of Mono for a variety of platforms, including Apple’s Mac OS X. Last fall, Microsoft entered into an agreement with Novell to not sue each others’ customers for patent infringement. This includes Novell customers using Mono.

    Does this mean that Microsoft is now aligned with open source developers and working to push open, interoperable implementations of its software? Is the old triangle of contention between Microsoft, Linux and Apple dissolving into a free and open love circle?

    [Mono - Wikipedia]

    Ha Ha, No.
    Microsoft is not trying to usher in a new OpenStep with .Net. It is working to usher in a new Win32: another decade of dependance upon Microsoft software that can only work on Windows. Why the subterfuge on submitting portions of .Net to standards bodies? Three guesses, and the first two don’t count!

    The best way to keep opponents busy is to give them false directions that lead into traps. This will distract them from blazing their own successful, competing trail, and will lead them directly into containment with the least mess and inconvenience.

    Microsoft is leading Mono users and developers into a pleasant feeling trap. Along the way, they gain appreciation for Microsoft’s development tools as they struggle to make their own open source copies. They will grow increasingly familiar with Microsoft’s directions, up to the point where they are hopelessly brainwashed into thinking that Microsoft is leading technology into a paradise of openness.

    Then Microsoft will spring out its patent gun and offer a tight ultimatum: join or die. The only options for Mono developers will be to get bought out by Microsoft and join the collective, or to suddenly face the fact that Microsoft will always be two steps ahead in knowing where .Net is headed, and will have a laundry list of patents–obvious or not–lined up waiting for anyone who attempts to use its own technology to compete with it.

    We already know that Mono development exists at the whim of Microsoft, and that dangerous looking stalactites of patent threats point down from above. Mono developers insist that Microsoft is a changed company and would never let anything bad happen to developers working to extend the features of its .Net.

    Microsoft’s own icy embrace of Mono developers is to offer a license that allows them to do anything but offer commercial software. Mono is nothing more than a training camp on how to serve Microsoft that leads to a do or die diploma ceremony at the end.

    You thought Microsoft was serving the open source community? Why?

  16. Woods said,

    May 20, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Well that certainly is the most succinct and eloquent summation of the situation I’ve read so far.

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 21, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Gravatar

    It was highlighted here before (a reader sent a pointer by E-mail). Maybe the Mono developers should start fighting Daniel-Eran too. You know, for being a ‘Mono hater’…

  18. Victor Soliz said,

    May 26, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Miles, sorry, I forgot all the FOSS world was shun in poverty, you are right, sourceforge needs Microsoft’s sponsorship so badly that it must also provide its site space to advertizie Microsoft’s lock in platform for developers. Afterall, who cares about open source’s integrity, all what matters is that these awards get big cash.

  19. Victor Soliz said,

    May 26, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Gravatar

    eet, did you notice you are getting refuge in slander by attacking Roy by saying he is the big evil that attacks free software? Did you notice that you do exactly all the things you complaint Roy does?

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